Neil Gaiman’s Advice For Graduates That’s Important For Us All

Take the 20 minutes and watch the whole commencement address from Neil Gaiman.  It’s a spectacular piece of advice, insight and commentary on living a creative career.  In today’s world, we all should strive to bring more creativity to our career and when he says “Make Great Art”, take it to mean that whatever you’re producing at work or in your life can be art.

Here’s a line that particularly stood out to me. Not for the writing part per se, but absolutely for the comment about email:  “There was a day that I realized I had become someone that professionally replied to email, and wrote as a hobby.”  What else is getting in the way of doing your art?

Check out the speech, many have said it’s right up there with Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford.  While I love Stanford, I’m especially happy Neil’s speech happened at a school from my hometown.

Some other great lines:

  • if you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do.
  • make good art
  • where’s the fun in making something you know will work
  • more and more of today’s and the future’s work will be freelance and there’s 3 secrets to succeeding at that (must watch to learn).
  • You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen
  • make up your own rules
  • be wise. If you’re not wise, just pretend to be someone that is wise, then just behave like they would.

Matt Kane

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